Where Were You When You Heard September 11, 2001

I was late for work.  The day started at 8:30 usually.  I didn’t get there until 9:00.  I don’t know why I was late, but by the time I arrived, both planes had crashed.

I wasn’t going to what we called the “Western offices,” where I held all my meetings with parishioners.  I was going to the church.  It was a Tuesday, Bible study day.  I hadn’t listened to the radio driving south on Vincennes from home to the church.  Back then, listening for ten minutes was too much of a tease.  You couldn’t hear full songs in ten minutes, much less any real reporting.  I parked my car in the lot.  I walked through the hallway and came by the first office.  Candace was there.  Grandma Jackie hadn’t yet arrived.  The phone was already ringing.

Candace greeted me by asking if I had heard.  I hadn’t so I asked, “Heard what?”  As I answered her, she turned to the television.  That large black box in the corner of the office.  I didn’t understand the images at first.  It came to me along with the voice of some reporter explaining the violence, the pain, the smoke, and the death.

When I heard about “nine eleven,” as it would be called, I was at church.  I had just arrived to work, to hear about thousands of others who had done the same thing I had that morning.  Some came to work early that morning in New York.  They met their deaths.  When I heard it put to me that way, it was true, I would remember where I was when I first heard about the tragedy.

If you’ll share, where were you when you heard?

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4 thoughts on “Where Were You When You Heard September 11, 2001

  1. Ironically I remember I was taking a break from a counseling class in undergrad when I saw the news. I remember we were dismissed from class and I immediately called home and I remember trying to be there for some of my classmates whose families were in the New York area. Still remember the sadness and fear the seemed to materialize in the air.

  2. I was in freshman bio class about 30 miles away walking through the woods. As I was headed back to my dorm, I thought I saw smoke on the horizon. A few minutes after I got to my floor, I watched with my friends as the 2nd plane hit. It was surreal. The rest of the day was a blur as my classmates scrambled to get in contact with loved ones that lived in Manhattan. It was my 2nd week in college, and it left a lasting impact on my first 2 years there.

  3. It was a Tuesday morning; I was in college, and getting ready to leave for my 8:30 Spanish Conversation class. Before I left my dorm room, I checked my email quickly, and noted a plane had flown into a skyscraper in New York. At the time, the report was unclear about the size of the plane, and it was assumed to be an accident. I thought nothing of it, and left for class before I was late.

    Nearly two hours later, I left my class and headed for the college post office to check my mailbox. As I went to leave the building, I noticed that there was a large group of students in one of the student lounges–quite unusual for a morning. I thought perhaps there was a speaker or other ‘event’ going on, and decided to poke my head in.

    I realized everyone was glued to the television news report. The plane crash I saw a couple hours earlier was no accident. It had been joined by a second plane in New York, a third in DC, and a 4th that crashed in PA. I remember the moment, walking in that room, watching a recording of the twin towers falling, when I realized that the ‘accident’ of a few hours ago was a horrific attack.

  4. I was at work in the Loop, intent on a deadline. By afternoon, the Loop had pretty much evacuated, but we were still there working on the deadline. I remember wondering if there would be another attack downtown. It was my birthday that day, but I did not celebrate that year.

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